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Mock Draft Round One - Hanley is Top Dog
Cody Crosby, FantasyJuice.com

Two experts of FantasyJuice went head-to-head in a mock draft of 12 teams. Each expert drafted 6 teams and alternated picks accordingly. The results and commentary follow.

The second round picks will be posted shortly as well as the complete mock draft results. Look for more mock drafts as we move through Spring Training.

R1P1 - Hanley Ramirez SS

What more is there really to say about the guy? The consensus #1 overall pick for this year’s draft, the 25-year old Florida shortstop can do it all. The only question mark about Hanley is about his stolen base production, specifically if he moves to third in the order. Even if that’s the case, 30+ shouldn’t be a problem and you could expect to see a nice uptake in RBI. - Michael

R1P2 – Albert Pujols 1B

With Hanley going as the sure-fire #1 pick, the #2 pick is open to interpretation. Some might argue that a top player at a premium position should be taken here but Pujols’ steady bat cannot be passed over. He had his best season ever when looking at OPS (1.114) and OBP (.462) and has at least 32 HR, 99 runs, 102 RBI, and a .314 AVG in every season of his career. His shoulder injury scared some drafters last year but his offseason surgery should settle their nerves. - Cody

R1P3 - Alex Rodriguez 3B

With Pujols going with the second pick, A-Rod was a no-brainer here. While this pick was made before the steroid allegations, I wouldn’t have changed my pick regardless. He is still one of the best pure hitters in the game and the addition of Mark Teixeira only helps him. - Michael

R1P4 – Jose Reyes SS

It’s pretty much a decision between Reyes and Wright at this point and I had to go with Reyes here because of the severe lack of depth at shortstop. Reyes almost returned to his 2006 levels and had, arguably, his second best season ever in 2008. The Mets possess a potent lineup in ’09 so look for Reyes to put up similar numbers to last season. - Cody

R1P5 – David Wright 3B

Pick five may be the easiest spot to draft this year because you know you’re going to land a stud, you just have to let the first four guys choose who that will be for you. Wright seems to generally be the third guy gone but I would take him over Reyes if given the choice. While I don’t think he will get back to 30+ steals, he should continue to be an RBI machine and put up numbers across the board at a surprisingly thin position. - Michael

R1P6 – Grady Sizemore OF

Pick 6 this year is the first pick that requires you to use your brain. The first 5 picks should fall in some order of the players chosen above. Sizemore is a juicy pick this year after recording his first 30/30 season in 2009. Even with the loss of Victor Martinez and decline of Travis Hafner, Sizemore put up impressive numbers in ’09. Sizemore is a good player to build a team around because of his four-category significance. - Cody

R1P7 – Jimmy Rollins SS

Braun and Cabrera might typically go ahead of J-Roll, and if I were to draft again I would be tempted to go with one of those two more often than not, but Rollins is still a five-cat stud at a weak position and sitting atop one of the best line-ups in the league. - Michael

R1P8 – Ryan Braun OF

I still have goose bumps from Braun’s walk-off grand slam against the Pirates last season. Even with a slow April and September decline, Braun jacked 37 HRs, drove in 106, and swiped 14 bags. Though his production dropped from his 2007 levels, Braun has legit skills and will eclipse 40 home runs next season. His upside is huge as he can easily steal more than 20 bases in a season…if only he didn’t get so many extra base hits. I had to take him here even though top premium position players were still available. - Cody

R1P9 – Miguel Cabrera 1B

I may have passed on him at 7 but I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. Still only 25 years-old, Miggy is a monster masher and heading into his second year in the AL should get back to those 30+ HR and .320+ average that his owners are used to seeing. - Michael

R1P10 – Ian Kinsler 2B

Poor Kinsler…always getting hurt. They say he has “unlucky” injuries (hernia last year, broken hand in ’07) but I tend to think some people are just plain fragile. Kinsler would have had a top 5 season last year but missed 40 games with injuries. I’m still buying him at a premium position for the upside of a 150 game season in a hitter-friendly ballpark. It was tough to take Kinlser over Utley but I’m not wasting my #1 pick on a player who may miss the start of the season. - Cody

R1P11 – Chase Utley 2B

The 11th pick is a tough one this year. Signs are pointing to Utley being ready for opening day, making him a potential steal at 11. You will have to keep track of his status as it gets closer to draft day and may need to make a tough judgment call. I’m normally not a fan of taking a risk in the first round but Utley is worth it as he flat out produces when healthy. - Michael

R1P12 – Mark Teixeira 1B

I always enjoy the last pick in drafts and this year is no exception. Tons of talent left over for the last pick of the first round. Teixeira is a good choice here as the draft sets up for a second round run on first baseman. Securing Teixeira keeps me from “settling” for a lesser 1B in later rounds. Expect his numbers to be similar to last season after a move to the Yankees. - Cody


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